Clashes Erupt During Idol Procession in Jehanabad, Police Vigilant

Clashes Erupt During Idol Procession in Jehanabad, Police Vigilant

India

Bihar’s Jehanabad is fraught with communal tension on Thursday, 10 October, after reports of clashes, including an incident of stone-pelting during a procession where a Durga idol was being carried, emerged online.

Balamurugan D, the district magistrate of the town, spoke to The Quint and remarked, “There was some chaos but the situation is under control now. The group that carried the procession has also ended their protest and moved on.”

Reportedly, the group carrying out the Durga idol procession grew outraged when they found the idol had been damaged. The situation subsequently became grim as one of the groups threw stones at a mosque in the area, eliciting retaliation from the other group, which continued till the police arrived and controlled the crowd.

Manish, the Superintendent of Police (SP) of Jehanabad told The Quint, “State police forces along with Rapid Action Force (RAF) have also been deployed in every nook and corner of the district.”

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‘Section 144 Imposed, Internet Services Suspended’

Farrah Shakeb from United Against Hate, a group of activists and lawyers, said that the morning was quite chaotic but there’s no clarity on how the idol sustained damage.

“The clash took place near a mosque called, Kacchi Masjid. Section 144 has been imposed there. Internet services have also been suspended,” Farrah told The Quint.

He added, “There is a possibility that Patna’s Additional Director General (DG) and Gaya’s Inspector General (IG) will reach the area to see that harmony is maintained.”

The official statement by Bihar administration states that section 144 has been imposed in the area.
The official statement by Bihar administration states that section 144 has been imposed in the area.
(Photo: Accessed by The Quint)

As the clashes escalated, shops in the mosque’s vicinity were damaged as well, some reportedly even ‘set on fire’. Farrah said the administration took cognisance of the issue and then imposed Section 144 in the area.

‘Few Policeman, Several Locals Injured’

One of the locals, while speaking to The Quint said, “The situation became serious when the group accused the Muslims in the area of causing damage to the idol and started throwing stones at the gate of the mosque. Taking notice of this, the Muslims in the area reciprocated, and there was stone-pelting from both the sides.”

The local added that the police was quick to respond as districts such as Gaya are communally sensitive areas.

“The police arrived and tried to stop the clash from getting more serious. But in that attempt, four policemen were injured. Several people from both the groups also received injuries,” the local said.

In the wake of the incident, several videos and images have been shared across social media, some erroneously confusing visuals from Jehanabad with the clashes that took place in Balrampur.

As the police continues to keep vigil in the area, the SP said, “No arrest has been made so far. The situation seems normal now, although the police is still on the look out.”

(This is a developing story).

Also Read : Old Kashmir Protesters-Police Clash Video Resurfaces Post Muharram

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